Great Minds Think Outside

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Nature NB is a proud to be involved with the Great Minds Think Outside program!

Great Minds Think Outside is a hands-on, curriculum-linked, outdoor professional development program that gives teachers and educators the skills, tools, and resources they need to teach their students outside – whatever the subject matter!

This program is the first of its kind in New Brunswick, and is designed to fit your work environment. Rather than having individual educators travel to workshops (which can be difficult), this program will bring training to educators in their schools, school districts, other locations, at times that are convenient for them! By offering the sessions in their daily work environment, the educators learn to see the possibilities of teaching in their own yards.

Additionally, this program allows for more time spent outside, both during and beyond the training, an activity that is often put aside, but that is oh-so essential to our overall wellness.

Benefits:

  • Improved of mental and physical health, and wellness for both students and teachers
  • Reduced challenging behaviours among students
  • A stronger connection with nature
  • Fresh air and exercise to help combat the obesity epidemic and lead to more active lifestyles
  •  …and all while learning!

Curriculum:

We offer training on how to teach outside and what to teach outside. Any and all learning outcomes can be met outside, with a little creativity! We can help you figure out how to teach science, math, social studies, language arts, physical education, and everything in between – outside, rain or shine. Half day and full day sessions are available.

This program combines a wide range of theoretical concepts leads (Adventure Wave, Joseph Cornell’s Stages of Flow Learning TM, Experiential Learning Model) which can be adapted to suit groups based on their individual needs. Great Minds Think Outside incorporates the sequenced “broad strokes” of briefing, fun high energy activity, focusing attention/reflecting experiences, debriefing which hopefully leads the participants to transfer the acquired learnings to their schools, homes and or workplaces.

We offer sessions on modules and themes. Modules are sessions on topics directly linked to the curriculum (math, literacy, etc.), and themes are sessions on broader themes that will link to most if not all curriculum topics. More specifically, the current modules and themes offered are:

  • Introductory Module: This module focuses on the how to teach outside and gives you a sense of what outdoor education is all about. You will learn about the logistics of teaching outside (what what you need to bring with you, safety issues), and the rules of implementation. On top of that, you will learn and practices a few outdoor activities to try with your students!
  • Ecosystems (theme)
  • Food and Gardens (theme)
  • Literacy (module)
  • Math (module)

*Please note that more modules and themes will be developed over the course of the school year. This list will be updated accordingly.

Is there a specific topic that you would like to see addressed? If so, give us a shout. We would love to hear your suggestions!

Who is this program for?

Outdoor and nature education should be available to all! For that reason, this program is targeting the following groups:

  • Elementary, middle, and high school teachers
  • B. Ed. students
  • Early childhood educators
  • Guide & Scout leaders
  • After school programs leaders
  • Summer camp staff
  • Park interpreters

Programs are offered through the New Brunswick Environmental Network. If you are interested in booking a professional development session, please fill out this form and we will contact you shortly!

*Page text c/o NBEN